I run a small business, that’s why I’m here. That means I’m pretty much contactable 24/7 and glued to my phone to be super responsive to customers and their needs. It’s what I pride myself on actually; super customer service. But here’s the dealio. It sucks for my family. The cha-ching of a sale, the bing of a new Facebook business message, the ding-dong of an email. It’s ridiculously overwhelming, for me as an adult. I can’t imagine how annoying it is for the kids. I totally acknowledge that I could turn off all of the notifications, but then I wouldn’t be responsive. Kind of a catch 22.
So, I decided to get a smart watch, but I was very unimpressed with the $500 or so price tag. After advice from a friend, I went to Optus and it turns out that they could include the watch in my plan for the same price as I was currently paying – boom! So I walked home that day with my accidental smartwatch purchase hoping that it would help me with my phone addiction.
I currently spend on average 2-3 hours per day on my phone and it is tracked by an app called Offtime (if you’re a phone addict like me you should try it – it’s scary how much time we waste). This time includes messenger checking, phone calls, email checking, Instagram, basically any time I hit that home button and wake up the phone, it is tracking me. Horrible, right? It shows me just how much time I am not paying attention to things I should be, how much time I am wasting on bits and pieces here and there and the nonsense of Facebook and Instagram posts and comments.
So how has this changed since I got my smartwatch? As I mentioned, on average I’m hitting 2-3 hours per day on my phone. Today, the second full day after having my smartwatch, my phone usage is down to 33 minutes, more than half the way through the day. Why? Here are the 5 reasons why my smartwatch has saved me from my phone addiction:
- I’m not drawn in to the mindless minutia of the Internet. I’m not looking up random things, wondering who sung that 80s song (well, chances are I already know #80saddict)
- I’m not incessantly seeing if someone has liked my Instagram post. I mean, really? Is it going to change that much if I don’t look at it for 5 hours? With my amount of followers, probably not – but if you want to check me out go to instagram.com/dailyorders :)
- I’m not constantly checking my emails. The truth is, emails can wait. I’m pretty sure no-one is going to having a planner life or death situation. If you are, I can help – when I check my emails.
- It’s better for my body! I’m not looking down all the time into a phone – getting tech neck or straining my eyes. Constant phone use is bad, hhmm-kay!
- More importantly than ANYTHING else, I am being more attentive to my kids. I’m not interrupted by all of the bings and bongs of the notifications. I simply get a small vibration on my wrist to tell me what’s coming through. I haven’t got notifications on for emails; only for phone calls and text/Facebook messages. I am in control and I can decide whether I want to respond or not.
Importantly, and this is a big thing for me – I’m not being automatically responsive to when my phone bings. I’m not jumping up at every sound it makes. I am not being controlled. Finally I feel in control.
It is weird that yet another device has been required to help me to get in control of my addiction, but it is working, and I bloody love it. We live in a world of technology where we are expected to be on call allll the time, but remember that you are in control and you can limit the time you are responsive.
So have you got a smartwatch? Have you found that it has helped you with your screen time? Happy to answer any questions you may have!